Alien Technology Announces New RFID Tags

Radio frequency identification tags fulfill commercial, DoD requirements

Radio frequency identification tags fulfill commercial, DoD requirements

Morgan Hill, CA — September 9, 2004 — Alien Technology Corp., a provider of radio frequency identification (RFID) products, today announced the release of EPC Class 1 tags with 96-bits of user-programmable memory.

The new tag family is based on Alien's third generation of UHF electronic product code (EPC) Class 1 integrated circuits, code-named "Lepton." Alien claimed the Lepton-based tags deliver up to 40 percent more read range than previous models, providing robust operating margin for challenging applications.

Alien said the tags, which are fully compliant with the Wal-Mart and U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) initiatives taking effect in January 2005, operate according to the EPC Class 1 standard, the only field-programmable tag standard recognized by EPCglobal.

Alien said its tags are suitable for use in Europe, where new regulations for UHF RFID operation have just been ratified. These updated regulations will allow higher performance of UHF RFID systems in Europe, approaching the performance seen under U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) operation. EPC Class-1 tags are the only ones recognized by EPCglobal that can operate under these new standards.

Lepton-based tags for Pacific Rim countries such as Japan, Korea, China, Taiwan and Australia are also forthcoming.

The Lepton-based tag family includes updated versions of Alien's current designs, plus new tags optimized for pharmaceuticals, baggage tags, retail hang tags and other applications.

Readers and original equipment manufacturer (OEM) reader modules supporting the new tags are available now from Alien. Alien is also working with leading reader, handheld, printer and applicator vendors to ensure the same widespread interoperability with Lepton that has been proven with earlier generations of Class 1 products. Alien said it is also working with leading label converter companies to ensure availability and reliability of Lepton-based RFID labels.

Alien will begin customer sampling of the new tags in October and initial production shipments in November. Production capacity for the new tags will be two billion units in 2005.